You’re a tunnel boring machine quietly boring your way under London, when suddenly you get a police escort!
Well, that happened to Crossrail recently, as one of their TBMs had to be taken from Stepney over to the Limmo Peninsula near Canning Town in East London.
The TBM, called Jessica had set off from Pudding Mill Lane, near Straford and tunnelled under East London to Stepney, where a vast underground cavern will hold a future railway junction.
Having dug a fairly short tunnel, the TBM is being dismantled and will be rebuilt at Limmo in order to dig more tunnels, this time heading eastwards towards the Excel exhibition centre.
The key issue, is how do you transport a giant TBM from one place to the next?
By road, with a police escort.
Sadly, not the entire snaking structure was sent that way, as most of it can be dismantled and put in normal lorries, but the cutter head and main front support can’t, and were taken through the streets on Sunday morning by lorry, with a large police escort to keep the roads clear.
It’s not often such a huge load passes though London, so for those who knew it would have been quite a sight.